Browsing Category "parenting"
6 Jun
2014
Posted in: parenting
By    Comments Off on Setting an Example for Work Ethic

Setting an Example for Work Ethic

I tend to cannonball right into summer. We’re active, often not at home, and free-spirited with our time.

Shortly after summer begins, I realize our home is being neglected. Yes, fun is needed. Of course memory making is important, but weeds also need pulled. Food needs bought and eventually we’ll run out of clean clothes if laundry isn’t washed and dried.

Using teamwork to bag leaves and twigs

Yesterday was a work day at our house, the first real one of the summer. There were groceries to buy and a ridiculous list of backyard projects to begin and hopefully complete. The backyard was resembling an overgrown junkyard for bikes and scooters. The relentless pounding of multiple feet has left our grass trampled to the point where only dirt remains in spots. When it rains, parts of the yard become muddy which might be the ultimate goal of my children: their very own mud pit. It had gotten to the point where my morning prayers included not letting my neighbors see our dismal backyard.

It was time to throw on work gloves and do something about the yard besides shaking my head and closing the blinds. I realized the downside of my cannonball attitude. In the 10 days we’ve been enjoying summer, my children apparently forgot what it means to actually work at a task.

They’ve had to do normal tasks around the house: picking up and putting away, dishes, cleaning bathrooms, etc. They haven’t been asked to work up a sweat and get dirty doing anything since the weather turned nice. I took 20 steps back in the parenting department retraining kiddos what it meant to listen to directions and follow those directions in a timely manner without being sidetracked.

Untangling a garden hose

I understand that handing a hose to children for the express purpose of cleaning the deck is just inviting them to spray each other and drag mud onto the deck making it dirtier rather than cleaner. Asking children to clean out their outdoor toy box while expecting them to not play with toys is akin to asking me to go to Dairy Queen and not eat ice cream.

We did also manage to buy groceries quickly, without incident, unlike the debacle last week. The trouble ensued at home after lunch. I’m all for making chores and work enjoyable, but that’s not always an option. We were working with a list of chores and a short amount of time. We needed to work for the sake of taking care of what is ours in order to move onto more enjoyable activities.

Sweeping the patio

I struggle with guilt after days like yesterday. I adore the role of memory maker and want to be that person each day, not the adult issuing directions like a boot camp sergeant. It’s difficult at times to see the work activities as essential as the fun in the raising of people. My kiddos will know how to drop everything and let tasks slide, to a point, and will know how to pause in the fun and get work done. At times it feels like a task of epic proportions to teach kids work ethic when it would be quicker and far easier to do it myself. I’ve learned to look for the small accomplishments when teaching large principles. Yesterday’s takeaways were the lack of complaining, which really should count as quite a large accomplishment, and a backyard that looks less like a junkyard.

 


 
Birthday Letters to My Children
By     |    Jun 4, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Birthday Letters to My Children

Birthday Letters to My Children

I know my memories will fade over time, and my children’s pasts will warp and blend together. There will come a time when I wonder if it was J or A who liked shoes lined up just so. Or was it C who couldn’t stand to drink bottled water? My fear of a failing memory combined with the kiddos not remembering their early years led to me writing birthday letters to each child near their birthday. The letters aren’t essays... [Read More]

Read more
Summer Reboot (Already)
By     |    Jun 2, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Summer Reboot (Already)

Summer Reboot (Already)

We ended the first week of summer with a dreadful day last Friday. It was one of those days where everyone was off their game. Listening was a skill no one possessed. Mama’s patience had run clean out, and the kiddos seemed to be conspiring to ensure every one of my buttons was pushed. I went to bed contemplating why the good Lord chose to give me one child, let alone four. I was determined to turn our ship around... [Read More]

Read more
Yes Day: The Best Day Ever
By     |    May 29, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

Yes Day: The Best Day Ever

We added the book Yes Day! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal to our home library a couple years ago, and it changed the way I parent. In the story, each request by a little boy is answered with “yes,” until the very end. I won’t spoil the ending. A few times a year my kiddos wake up to find it’s Yes Day in our house. Yesterday was the first day of summer vacation, making it an obvious choice for Yes Day.... [Read More]

Read more
Crying Over the End of School
By     |    May 23, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Crying Over the End of School

Crying Over the End of School

I remember the day he pushed me away. When our oldest son was almost three years old, he went to climb a structure at a park we frequented and for the 10,000th time I went to spot him. This time was different. He told me he could do it himself, and he did. Last night that same boy who I no longer look down to talk with, who wears the same size shoe as I do and whose hands no... [Read More]

Read more
Real Life Bike Helmet Safety
By     |    May 21, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

Real Life Bike Helmet Safety

Currently my most favorite thing we own is the bike helmet our 11-year-old son was wearing Monday night. It saved his noggin and quite possibly kept our family from being forever altered. Our oldest and my husband race mountain bikes. Craig raced during summers in college and picked the sport up again last summer when B showed interest. It’s a passion they share that’s separate from the rest of the family. It’s always made me uneasy. Worrying is my most... [Read More]

Read more
Love Notes From My Children
By     |    May 12, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Love Notes From My Children

Love Notes From My Children

There’s a drawer in my nightstand overflowing with love in the form of construction paper, markers and crayons. It’s where I keep the love notes from my children. I find the carefully written words and brightly colored pictures far too precious to store away under a bed or tucked in a folder. I sifted through the drawer yesterday, searching for the cards specifically dedicated to Mother’s Day.  I gingerly opened each handmade memento with the care of an archivist. I... [Read More]

Read more
Letting Go of Self-Imposed Guilt
By     |    May 8, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Letting Go of Self-Imposed Guilt

Letting Go of Self-Imposed Guilt

Most weeks I enjoy having a bigger family. None of those weeks fall in the month of May. I am outnumbered 4-to-1. I’m thankful every day for a husband who is in the parenting trenches with me, but there are several times when two people just aren’t enough to cover scheduling conflicts. The events claiming my time are linked to my favorite people and causes I hold dear. It’s all joy-bringing, fun activities (maybe not the dentist appointments), and I know... [Read More]

Read more
Apologizing for Morning Madness
By     |    May 1, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    2 Comments

Apologizing for Morning Madness

We’re a well-oiled machine on school mornings, most of the time, but when our mornings go wrong, we commit 100% to everything and everyone unraveling. If our level of commitment to utterly falling apart could be put toward good, my family might just be able to find the solution to world peace. Yesterday morning was child-rearing torture. My children had obviously never been to school before. No one was aware of what was expected of them on a Wednesday morning.... [Read More]

Read more
Just a Lost Baby Tooth
By     |    Apr 24, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Just a Lost Baby Tooth

Just a Lost Baby Tooth

It was just a baby tooth, but it was his LAST baby tooth. It became another reminder that I can be emotional over just about everything. Our 5th grader came bounding out of school with a big smile on his face yesterday. I asked how his day was, and he answered by pulling the side of his mouth open to show me the gaping hole where his last baby tooth had been hours earlier. A wave of sadness swept over... [Read More]

Read more
Be THAT Mom…Whoever She Is
By     |    Apr 21, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Be THAT Mom…Whoever She Is

Be THAT Mom…Whoever She Is

I’m THAT mom. On Easter morning, I fixed my kiddos eggs and bacon that looked like a bunny. Surprisingly, my intention wasn’t to make anyone feel like less of a mom than me or to elevate myself to ‘Supermom’ status. I had eggs and bacon and saw a photo on social media of the above mentioned bunny. It took seconds to change the breakfast I was already intending into a memory for my children. Do I think less of the... [Read More]

Read more
Motherhood is Not My Job
By     |    Apr 17, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Motherhood is Not My Job

Motherhood is Not My Job

I’m never quite sure how to answer the question, “What do you do for a living?” My short answer: I raise people, but motherhood is not my job. This post has been mulling in my brain all week. Social media has exploded, again, with painting being a mom as the hardest job in existence. My problem comes down to the word “job.” Parenting is a lifestyle. Mama is who I will forever be. It isn’t a hat I can, or... [Read More]

Read more